After beating state ordinance, Uber continues taxi fight


The Verge’s Adrianne Jeffries has a great profile of Uber, touching on the ride service startup’s legal approach (ignore the rules) and marketing (brim with moral imperative). The dual strategy has been surprisingly effective, helping the company run roughshod over unfriendly regulations in the Boston area, Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, while stirring up a passionate user base intent on helping the company expand.

When the Massachusetts’ Division of Standards issued a cease-and-desist against the company in August, more than a thousand fans petitioned to allow Uber to continue operations. The fans quickly won out, with the state quickly overturning its ruling


Scott Kirsner wrote that shutting down the service was a “bad idea for Cambridge, the Commonwealth, and consumers,’’ and the actions “smack of protecting established interests like taxi operators and livery companies — not protecting the consumer.’’

But Kirsner’s post was mild compared to the usual rhetoric of Uber: As Jeffries and Zach Seward noted, the language that Uber’s marketing typically embraces is that of “moral authority.’’

Take the company’s recent blog post on a D.C. legislative victory:

’’Unfortunately, this fight is far from over. The bill that was passed today will be reviewed again by the Council in late September and we’ll need our full army ready to help us again.’’

With the company’s continuing legal battles in New York City and beyond, that army will soon be put to the test.

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